Rare protective variants and glaucoma-relevant cell stressors modulate Angiopoietin-like 7 expression

Inas F. Aboobakar, Edward Ryan A. Collantes, Michael A. Hauser, W. Daniel Stamer, Janey L. Wiggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Rare missense and nonsense variants in the Angiopoietin-like 7 (ANGPTL7) gene confer protection from primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), though the functional mechanism remains uncharacterized. Interestingly, a larger variant effect size strongly correlates with in silico predictions of increased protein instability (r = -0.98), suggesting that protective variants lower ANGPTL7 protein levels. Here, we show that missense and nonsense variants cause aggregation of mutant ANGPTL7 protein in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and decreased levels of secreted protein in human trabecular meshwork (TM) cells; a lower secreted:intracellular protein ratio strongly correlates with variant effects on intraocular pressure (r = 0.81). Importantly, accumulation of mutant protein in the ER does not increase expression of ER stress proteins in TM cells (P > 0.05 for all variants tested). Cyclic mechanical stress, a glaucoma-relevant physiologic stressor, also significantly lowers ANGPTL7 expression in primary cultures of human Schlemm's canal (SC) cells (-2.4-fold-change, P = 0.01). Collectively, these data suggest that the protective effects of ANGPTL7 variants in POAG stem from lower levels of secreted protein, which may modulate responses to physiologic and pathologic ocular cell stressors. Downregulation of ANGPTL7 expression may therefore serve as a viable preventative and therapeutic strategy for this common, blinding disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2523-2531
Number of pages9
JournalHuman molecular genetics
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 1 2023
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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